Vanessa Bryant filed a lawsuit last year over unauthorized photos that were taken at the site where her husband Kobe and daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash. On Monday, a judge ruled in her favor on a key issue related to the case.
Some of the photos in question were taken by Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputies. Lawyers for the department had filed a motion to keep the deputies’ names under seal, arguing that releasing the names would make the deputies’ addresses and personal information accessible and that hackers could target them. According to Richard Winton of the Los Angeles Times, U.S. District Judge John F. Walter ruled against the Sheriff’s Department on Monday.
Bryant’s attorney Luis Li argued that “transparency promotes accountability,” and Walter agreed. The judge said “the public has a vested interest in assessing the truthfulness of the allegations of official misconduct” when the case involves police officers.
Further, the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department has insisted that the photos that were taken at the crash site have been disposed of and/or deleted from electronic devices and no longer exist. Walter said in his ruling that the department’s concern that hackers could locate the photographs if they learned the identities of the deputies is “totally inconsistent with their position that such photographs no longer exist.”
The lawsuit filed by Bryant seeks damages for negligence and invasion of privacy. The suit alleges that deputies and two LA firefighters took and shared photos of the victims of the crash, which took place on Jan. 26, 2020.
In the aftermath of his tragic and untimely death, Kobe Bryant cards popped up for sale all over the world. From online auctions to in-person auctions and to private sales, they became a hot commodity overnight.
More than a year later, Bryant’s cards continue to skyrocket in value and never was that more evident than on Saturday night.
Goldin Auctions, an online auction house and repository for sports memorabilia, put a “pristine condition” Kobe Bryant rookie card up for bid and when the hammer finally came down, it was sold for $1.795 million. The price tag makes it one of the most expensive basketball cards ever sold and the highest-priced Bryant card in history.
Only three other basketball cards have ever sold for more money than the Bryant rookie card. A 03-04 Rookie Patch Autograph LeBron James card sold for $1.845 million in July of 2020, while two others — a Giannis Antetokounmpo 13-14 Logoman Patch Autograph and a Luka Doncic 1:1 Logoman Autographed — eclipsed that price.
The Antetokounmpo card fetched $1,857,300 in September of 2020 and the Doncic card sold for $4.6 million earlier this year.
A 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle remains the highest-priced card ever sold or auctioned, earning a total pot of $5.2 million here in 2021. The same card had been sold for $2.8 million in 2018.
The NBA logo, meanwhile, has featured the silhouette of another LA Lakers legend, Hall of Famer Jerry West, since 1969. It underwent a small font change in 2017 but has otherwise stayed the same over the years. That said, West might actually be in favor of Bryant replacing him as the NBA’s logo.
“Yeah, and if I ever lack, I’m goin’ out with my chopper, it be another Kobe,” one of the lyrics from the song reportedly says.
Bryant’s death is a sensitive subject, especially for Vanessa and her family. Vanessa lost her husband, Kobe, and second-oldest daughter, Gianna, in a fatal helicopter crash last year.
“Dear @meekmill, I find this line to be extremely insensitive and disrespectful. Period.,” Vanessa wrote on her Instagram Story. “I am not familiar with any of your music, but I believe you can do better than this. If you are a fan, fine, there’s a better way to show your admiration for my husband. This lacks respect and tact.”
Derrick Rose has had to overcome a lot of adversity since he won the NBA MVP Award nearly a decade ago, but Kobe Bryant is apparently one person who never stopped believing in the star point guard’s potential.
ESPN’s Ramona Shelburne said during an appearance on the “Brian Windhorst & The Hoop Collective” podcast this week that Bryant pushed for the Los Angeles Lakers to acquire Rose before Kobe died in a helicopter crash last year. Shelburne said that is the only time she had ever heard of Kobe urging the Lakers’ brass to make a certain move.
“Before the helicopter crash, that was the only time I have ever heard — and I’m sure it happened more than I ever heard about — but this was the only time I ever heard Kobe make a little suggestion to the Lakers brass,” Shelburne said, as transcribed by Justin Benjamin of Lakers Daily. “He loved the idea of the Lakers trading for Derrick Rose or going to get him somehow.”
Bryant was known for being tough on other players, so it is noteworthy that he went to bat for Rose. That is an indication that he believed in Rose’s work ethic, which is not a surprise. Rose is still playing in the NBA despite suffering numerous significant injuries.
A story that was published on Sunday claimed the Kobe and Vanessa Bryant Foundation has released its own CBD oil product, but Vanessa says it is completely false.
The story, which purported to be from People magazine, stated that the Bryant family’s CBD product has been “flying off the shelves within minutes” and demand heavily outweighs supply. It also said the foundation has pledged to send one free bottle to anyone in need.
Vanessa Bryant shared some screenshots of the story on Instagram and labeled it a “SCAM” and “LIES.”
“LIES! Don’t get SCAMMED. Kobe NEVER USED CBD. @people doesn’t have anything to do with this either. (Pay attention to the fake website link),” Bryant wrote.
It’s unclear why an outlet would fabricate a story like that, but nothing we see on the internet surprises us.
Bryant has had to deal with multiple lawsuits (including one that involves her own mother) since her husband Kobe and daughter Gigi were killed in a tragic helicopter crash over a year ago. The false CBD story could lead to another.
Both Steph Curry and Joel Embiid wore special shoes on Wednesday as tributes to the late Kobe Bryant.
Bryant and his daughter, Gianna, died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26, 2020. Curry’s Golden State Warriors and Embiid’s Philadelphia 76ers did not play on Tuesday, so the star players wore the shoes in their games on Wednesday.
Here are Embiid’s shoes, which feature Bryant’s jersey numbers and a photo of Kobe and Gianna.
Philadelphia 76ers All-Star Joel Embiid’s new shoes tonight against the Los Angeles Lakers paying tribute to the late Kobe and Gianna Bryant. Embiid fell in love with basketball watching Bryant as kid in Cameroon. pic.twitter.com/xPcYGcvVfP
Kyrie Irving paid tribute to the late Kobe Bryant ahead of Monday’s game between his Brooklyn Nets and the Miami Heat.
Irving was close with Bryant and viewed the former Lakers star as a mentor. Kobe died on Jan. 26, 2020 in a helicopter crash. The Nets are not playing on Tuesday, so Irving paid his respects to Bryant by wearing the former Laker star’s jersey to his game on Monday.
Kobe tribute tattoos became extremely popular following the former Los Angeles Lakers star’s death last year. LeBron James got one in the days following Kobe’s death (seen here), and Anthony Davis got one as well (here). Ellington’s is much better than both of theirs.
Kobe Bryant appeared to have quite the ace up his sleeve before his untimely passing this year.
Venture capitalist Shervin Pishevar, a co-founder of Sherpa Capital who has invested in such companies as Airbnb and Uber, revealed a bombshell about Bryant this week. Pishevar tweeted that he met with the Los Angeles Lakers icon in Dec. 2019 to discuss Bryant’s plans to start Mamba, a shoe company that would be owned by players. Bryant was supposedly unhappy with Nike and was planning to leave the brand in 2020. Pishevar also shared details of the meeting and the designs he presented to Bryant.
Pishevar further stated that Bryant was specifically displeased with Nike’s commitment to his shoe line as well as the poor sales numbers.
I met with Kobe Bryant in late December 2019. Kobe wasn’t happy with Nike and was going to leave it in 2020. Kobe was going to start Mamba, a shoe company owned by players. He passed away weeks later. What he was about to do in business was going to eclipse his sports career.
2/ These were the designs my team did to show him that day for an independent Mamba shoe company. Here’s calendar details. There were witnesses to the meeting and Kobe’s plans like Gina Ford, who manages Usain Bolt. pic.twitter.com/PgsIDt0P0E
He wasn’t happy with Nike’s marketing and promotion commitment to Kobe’s line. And the sales of his shoes were anemic and he blamed Nike. He retained tight control because he didn’t trust Nike’s judgment in design.
Bryant’s plans were confirmed by author Pat Benson, who wrote the book “Kobe Bryant’s Sneaker History (1996-2020).” Benson said it was “very likely” that the five-time NBA champion would have left Nike.
“It’s shocking because Kobe was Nike’s golden goose and habitually toed the company line,” Benson told Meredith Cash of Insider.com. “Many of his fans were upset with Nike’s handling of his signature line following his retirement. It feels redeeming that Kobe was unhappy about it too.
“It’s certainly going to make things awkward with Nike in the future,” added Benson. “But it adds to the beautiful complexity of Kobe. Always pushing the envelope.”
Bryant, who passed away on Jan. 26 in a helicopter crash, had been with Nike for 17 years at the time of his death. He became synonymous with the brand, launching several signature sneakers with them and coming out in many memorable advertising campaigns (including appearing as a puppet with LeBron James, seemingly jumping over a speeding Aston Martin, and promoting the “Kobe System” in a series of ads with Kanye West). Bryant had previously been endorsed by Adidas early on in his NBA career.